, we know that the tomb was in use until the beginning of the 2nd century BC and the main body of the complex was practically "complete" within the first half of the 2nd century BC.It is also known that it held the remains of one person outside the Scipio family: the poet Ennius, of whom there was a marble statue in the tomb according to Cicero.None of the more familiar Scipios (Africanus, Asiaticus and Hispanicus) were buried here, but according to until about 150 BC, when the structure was complete, and came to be supported by another quadrangular room, with no passage to the hypogeum - in this were buried a few others of the family, up to the 2nd century BC.

dating on tombs of scipios-79

The decoration is attributed to the initiative of , and is a fundamental example of Hellenization of Roman culture in the course of 2nd century BC.

At that period the tomb became a kind of family museum, that perpetuated and publicised the deeds of its occupants.

The last well-known use of the tomb itself was in the Claudio- were buried here, due to his attempts to cash in on his descent from the Scipios for ideological reasons.

In the 3rd century AD the tomb was blocked and hidden by other buildings.

At that time, masonry put in in 16 to support collapsing roofs was removed and the inscriptions on the tombs were properly studied and copied.

Architecture bank on a large square plan, and a brick-built arcade from the later period, with a separate entrance.The regularity of the plan suggests that the complex was newly-cut for the tombs - it does not seem plausible that an ancient tufa quarry was re-used.The tomb's approximate location remained known from the written sources even before it was first excavated, in 1616.The site's owners re-excavated it in May 1780, during building works for a new cellar.These excavations were carried out in the destructive way common at that time, seeking only treasure and ruining the site.Thus the tomb needed a complete restoration in 1926 by the X Ripartizione of the Comune di Roma.